Slipping

Everyone has times when faith grows weak.

I’m in one of those times. I’m in one of those times when faith seems less genuine and the One in whom I have faith seems less real and more distant.

I know better. I know what scripture says about how close He is. Close enough that unseen armies surround the prophet and his servant. Close enough that a soon-to-be-martyr can see Him on His throne and recognize His face. Close enough that the prime evangelist of century one can tell the polytheists of the Areopagus that He is not far from any of us.

I’m talking about feelings. And if He feels distant – like the old couple talking about why they don’t sit as close together in the car seat anymore – I know who has moved, and it isn’t the Driver.

I feel like I’ve slipped back into programmatic worship mode. You know what I mean. I’m talking about where you were before you began to realize that Sunday church inside the right building wasn’t the totality of Christian life, service and worship.

(You do know that, don’t you? I’m still pretty sure of it. But …)

I used to know and feel the same thing, and that thing was a life-direction pointed toward Him. It was a recognition of what He has done. It was a sense of gratitude and partnership and humility. It was growth and transformation and sanctification – being set apart for something worthwhile in life.

I remember that feeling.

So I can know enough to write the words, but I can’t feel enough to live them.

I can Facebook a little. (I don’t really care if I ever tweet again.) I can’t blog, though, because when you blog, your head and your heart have to be in it and in it together.

Right now I can’t go to a hill with scenes of fear and woe. I can’t go to the garden alone, whether dew is on the roses or not. I need to turn around and start back toward Him from where I am.

I need me some Psalms.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. ~ Psalm 73:2

He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber … ~ Psalm 121:3

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. ~ Psalm 94:18

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11 thoughts on “Slipping

  1. Keith, maybe you need to get a cane pole a line and hook, and a worm, and go fishing, it works for me.
    The going fishing part, that is.
    I can’t see how people continue, without burning out when they make their religion their profession. I love my family, but I need to be alone now and then. God understands, he rested, Jesus retreated from the crowds, I prefer to think Jesus even went fishing, they just didn’t say anything about it.

  2. I’m sorry you’re at that place. I lived there for a while and it’s not a great place to be. Hang in there like a bitin’ sow! 🙂

  3. Keith,
    You are always in my thoughts and prayers brother. I want you to know that I totally understand. I need to read these Psalms as well. Thank you for this post and hang in there brother and remember you are not alone.

  4. You and me both, brother. The good news is that He is faithful even when we aren’t or we don’t know if He is or we’re just punchin’ the spiritual time clock.

  5. Keith, I love your blog and look forward to your return. Remember the promise of your salvation brother and the hope that is the object of your faith.

  6. I have been there….I am not sure I am not a little there now…blogging becomes mechanical and factual…I pray the valley time is short for you.

  7. Sorry you’re going through it, Keith.

    It’s probably no consolation, but I thought you might like to know that the word verification word for this comment is “chescake.”

    Peace.

  8. And this one is “varse.” Really.

    Seriously, Keith, thanks for sharing your struggles. I am and will continue to be praying for renewed joy for you.

  9. Quiet. This is holy ground.

    The best thing Job’s friends ever did for him was those first seven days before they started talking at him.

    So I will try to be quiet, and sit vigil with you in the gloom.

    in HIS love,
    nick

    PS – expedun

  10. Milton, I think Nick was just calling for general quiet in the dark night of my soul – not for you specifically. I value you both, and your prayers – and the rest of you who have left comments as well.

    I think I’ve detected a pattern in my life through this patch of dark and desert: when stress causes my emotions to become too much to handle, they just shut down. (I think they go fishing, Laymond!)

    It takes time for me to be willing to feel again.

    I’m heading back that way and hope to post again soon. Thank you all for wishing me heavy trotlines, strong hog-teeth, a firm grip, a prepunched timeclock card, a sure salvation, a short time in the valley, a silent friend on the vigil, a defender when threat was perceived.

    Your prayers are being answered, and you all are serving as God’s answer to mine.

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